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September 16, 2022


Our OriginAL journey ended on Monday, August 22nd.

From August 10 to 22, 40 young people born or raised in the diaspora had the opportunity to visit the most important cultural and historical places in Kosovo and Albania.

This program included participants from Kosovo and Albania, with the sole purpose of introducing diaspora youth to their peers from their countries of origin.

The participants were from 15 countries of the world between the ages of 18 and 24. The goal was one and only, for diaspora youth to find their Albanian roots.

About the journey

On August 10, the first day began in Pristina, where participants had the opportunity to get to know each other. Also, on this day they were informed with all the members of the team, revealing in detail the agenda that they would follow for the next few days and how long the program would last.

You can find out more by watching the first day’s video.

The morning of the second day began with a workshop led by social entrepreneur Mentor Dida. The second day began with a workshop led by social entrepreneur Mentor Dida. The purpose of this workshop was to get the participants to know one another. The rest of the day was spent touring the capital of Kosovo’s most important cultural and historical places. In addition, the Municipality of Pristina hosted a reception for diaspora youth. The official launch of OriginAL took place on the same day, August 11, in the courtyard of the American University in Kosovo.

You can also watch the overview video.

The third day started with Rijad Mehmet from Team Rijad, explaining to the diaspora youth what it’s like to live in a wheelchair in Kosovo. The second section was dedicated to the entrepreneur Ardian Hoxha. Following the meetings in Pristina, our OriginAL-s traveled to Prizren. They met with Veton Nurkollari, the Artistic Director of DokuFest, and discussed the festival of short films and documentaries. The rest of the day was spent visiting Prizren’s historical places, including the Castle.

Watch the third day’s video.

We took the road to Prekaz on the fourth day. In addition to the guide, the OriginAL participants were greeted by Sala Jashari the granddaughter of Sala Jashari who is one of the 59 victims of the attack on March 5, 6 and 7, 1998. During this visit, members of the diaspora learned about the Jashari family’s history for the first time. Following Prekaz, our OriginAL-s traveled to Mitrovica. Valdete Idrizi, Director of Culture, Youth, and Sports in Mitrovica, greeted them and explained what it means to live in the city divided into two parts.

About the fourth day, get more information in the video below.

The fifth day was entirely dedicated to sports. From Prizren, one group split up to do mountain climbing known as Via Ferrata and another group to do mountain biking. The afternoon was then dedicated to the mountaineer Mrika Nikqi, who showed in front of the participants the challenges she has faced while climbing the highest peaks in the world.

You can find the  fifth day’s video below.

On the sixth day, we traveled to Gjakova. The OriginAL-s had the opportunity to see up close the most important cultural and historical objects in Gjakova, led by the guide. In addition to the monuments, they were able to learn about the sad story of Mother Ferdonije.. She welcomed us to the house-museum, where she told the young diaspora people about her family’s history.

The sixth day’s video is available at the link below.

On the seventh day we left Kosovo, we did it through Lake Koman. After the ferry ride, the first stop in Albania was at ‘Mrizi i Zanave’ in Fishtë. In addition to delicious food, they had the opportunity to visit the place, which is known for agrotourism. The OriginAL-s spent the night in Vlora.

The summary for the seventh day is available in the link below.

The eighth day was all about the sea and the sun. The entire day was spent exploring Vlora’s beautiful islands such as: Sazani, Karaburuni, and Haxhi Ali Cave.

The video for the eighth day is available at the link below.

The OriginAL-s were accompanied by Albania’s Deputy Minister for Tourism and Environment, Vilma Bello, on a tour of Vlora’s most important historical places. In the afternoon they traveled to Berat and were greeted by the Municipality of Berat, who took care of the tourist visit to the city of 1001 windows.

Watch the video summary of the ninth day, which is available below.

On the tenth day we took the road to Tirana. Tirana Youth Capital greeted us and had an information session, and OriginAL-s had the opportunity to meet their peers in Tirana. They were welcomed by the Deputy Mayor of Tirana, Andi Seferi, on the Municipality of Tirana’s terrace in the evening. He described the best projects of Albania’s capital. Following this meeting, the evening was spent learning Albanian dances.

Click the link below to view the content video.

The eleventh day began in the historical city of Kruja, where participants had the opportunity to learn more about the history of Gjergj Kastriot Skenderbeu. After Kruja, they went to Bun’Art 1, where they learned more about Albania’s 50-year communist history through the guide.

The summary of the eleventh day is available at the link below.

On the twelfth day, the participants visited the Tumo Center, where they learned more about ‘digital rights.’ After the workshop, participants were able to spend time at Mali I Dajtit.

Watch the twelfth day recap video by clicking on the link below.